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Analysis of Treatment Planning Progress in Radiation Oncology

S Stathakis

S Stathakis*, C Kabat , K McConnell , C Ha , K Rasmussen , N Kirby , D Saenz , D Baacke , N Papanikolaou , University of Texas HSC SA, San Antonio, TX


SU-I-GPD-P-11 (Sunday, July 30, 2017) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: A treatment planning process tracker database with input forms and a TV-viewable display webpage was developed and implemented in our clinic to collect time data points throughout the process. Tracking the time for each of the planning steps is important because it often directly affects the patient quality of care. The tracker helps define and monitor workflow through the clinic, while the data collected can be used to understand and refine the process by eliminating inefficiencies.

Methods: The steps tracked in our implementation are CT-simulation, patient marking, drawing of normal contours, drawing of target volumes, plan generation, and review/approval of plan. Time stamps for task completion were extracted and used to generate a set of clinic metrics, including average time for each step in the process for each type of treatment, average time to completion for plans started in a given week, and individual overall completion time per plan.

Results: Trends have been tracked for one year of clinical data (1088 plans). On average, the entire planning process takes 5.4 workdays. The majority of the time is allocated to normal tissue contouring and target delineation (3.0 days). No correlation was observed between attending physician and time for those tasks. We observed no clear trend on the average amount of time per plan from week-to-week.

Conclusion: A planning process tracker has the potential to provide insight into how time is utilized in a clinic. We have been able to monitor our treatment planning process and intervene when our moving average is slides above 5.5 workdays. In the future, we plan to use this tool to “fine tune” our processes and forecast staffing needs.

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